New Maps for Colorado and Minnesota

Newly designed US Topo maps covering Colorado and Minnesota are now available online for free download

12 September 2013 -- In keeping with rapid demand, the USGS has posted new  US Topo quadrangles covering Colorado (1,794 maps) and Minnesota (1,689). These new quads replace the first edition US Topo maps for those states. The replaced maps will be added to the USGS  Historical Topographic Map Collectionand are also available for free download from  The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader  website.

The new design for  US Topo maps improves readability of maps for online and printed use, while retaining the look and feel of the traditional USGS topo map. Also, map symbols are now easier to read over the digital aerial photograph layer whether the imagery is turned on or off. 

 Other re-design enhancements and new features:

  • New shaded relief layer for enhanced view of the terrain
  • Military installation boundaries, post offices and cemeteries
  • New road classification
  • A slight screening (transparency) has been applied to some features to enhance visibility of multiple competing layers
  • New PDF legend attachment
  • Metadata formatted to support multiple browsers

In addition, the new Colorado US Topo quads include recreational trails in National Forests, provided by the U.S. Forest Service. Although this first test of trails was successful, the Forest Service does not yet have comparable data in other states, and schedules for adding trails in all National Forests have not been set.

"We are excited to about these two updates that are part of our continual effort to improve US Topo maps for our users," said Vicki Lukas, USGS Chief of Partner and User Engagement. "First, the new design makes US Topo maps even easier to use, and the new Colorado maps include Forest Service trails as a new feature."

US Topo maps are updated  every three years. The initial round of the 48 conterminous state coverage was  completed last September. Hawaii and Puerto Rico maps are being completed this year. New US Topo maps for Alaska have started, but will take several years to complete.

US Topo maps are created from geographic datasets in  The National Map, and deliver visible content such as high-resolution aerial photography, which was not available on older paper-based topographic maps. The new US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and on-screen geographic analysis tools for users.

The new digital electronic topographic maps are delivered in  GeoPDF image software format and may be viewed using  Adobe Reader, available as a no-cost download.

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